I don't know about you, but the end of the year usually comes with a reminder to anyone within emailing distance to get their vision checked before HSA benefits expire. However, moving into the new year should also be a reminder to make sure the "vision" you had in mind for your property management keywords is healthy and up to date.
Maybe your vision for 2020 has changed after meeting or failing to meet specific challenges, like:
- 20% improvement in property occupancy rates over the previous year
- Falling short of a targeted metric like average days to lease.
Just like your actual vision, property management marketing is a balance between near and far-sightedness: failure to update and inspect the keywords you use for SEO can have unintended consequences down the line.
Are Your Property Management Keywords Relevant in 2020?
Just as your optometrist wants to see if you can read the lines off the eye chart, you should be able to interpret your forecasted goals across spans of one month, three months, a year, and even decadal goals. Focusing only on the near term may throw you far off course before you reach your long-range plan. Like a captain on an open sea, one small change in navigation at mile marker 1,000 can lead to serious deviations from your final destination!
What can you do to make sure your property management keywords are sustaining your goals—both now and into the future?
- Use your goals to make a list of the top 10 topics relevant to the vision you have for your business. These topics will be used later to come up with keywords specific to your overarching interests.
- Complete the outline by expanding your topics with potential property management keywords and keyword phrases.
- Think of this from your target customer's perspective: these keywords or key phrases you think are important are used to rank you in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
- The point of this step isn't to pin down your keywords. Instead, brainstorm phrases or buzzwords you think potential customers may use in their search for content related to a particular topic. This list will be narrowed down later.
The Tools of the Trade
Multiple data-driven tools are available to you for determining which property management keywords you're most likely to rank well for. Sometimes reverse engineering your marketing strategy may provide substantial insight.
- Use tools such as Google Analytics or HubSpot's Sources Report to determine which keywords your business is already dominating the traffic for.
- Investigate your website's traffic and peer through your organic search traffic to identify the keywords people are currently using to find your site.
- Repeat this exercise for all the topics you have.
If you're struggling to narrow down key phrases or frequently asked questions, reach out to your sales personnel and ask them for a quick brief on phrases used by their prospects and customers. Often, each area of the business comes with its own jargon, and specific acronyms may drastically impact your chosen keywords.
Look Into Related Search Terms
To find more property management keywords people may use when it comes to a specific topic; go to Google.com and enter your keyword or phrases of interest. Look at the related search terms that come up.
- Scroll to the bottom of Google's results after a search. Here, you'll see suggestions for searches related to your original query.
- These keywords may spark ideas for other keywords you should be taking into consideration when it comes to your 2020 vision.
- If you're really feeling driven, you can also drill down another level by looking at Google search results for the related search terms you found, and inspect their related search terms.
Heads or Tails? Call It!
Check for a mix of head terms and long-tail keywords on each topic.
- Head terms are property management keywords or phrases that are shorter and trend generic (usually 1-3 words).
- Long-tail keywords are longer keyword phrases of three or more words.
- It is important to have a combination of head terms and long-tail keywords to yield a keyword strategy that is well-balanced with both your near-sighted goals and long-term vision.
- Head terms are usually searched more frequently, but this makes them much more competitive and harder to rank for than long-tail terms.
To see it in practice, which of the following would be harder to rank for?
- "What makes a great property management company?"
- "Property management."
The correct answer is the latter. However, this isn't such a bad thing: while head terms generally draw the highest search volume (greater potential traffic), the traffic you'll get from the long-tail keyword is usually more desirable.
- The hits you get from a detailed, specific search are generally easier to interpret and target.
- The generic head term is also less likely to be a qualified lead.
Remember, the goal is to end up with a list of both head terms and long-tail keywords that provide some quick wins while you fine-tune your property management keywords to support SEO.
See Your Competition's Strategy
- It's important to research how your competition ranks for these keywords.
- You should also make a note to re-evaluate their position over time.
- Ultimately, any changes also affect your strategy moving forward.
It's important to remember that a keyword for your competitor is not necessarily a keyword for you. However, seeing what your competitors are striving to rank for is a great way to help you re-evaluate your list of keywords.
How do you see what keywords your competitors are ranking for? Aside from an exceptionally long telescope or manually searching for keywords in an incognito browser, there are some free tools you can use to do some digging.
If your competitor is ranking for keywords on your list, focus on improving your standing. However, don’t ignore property management keywords your competitors don’t seem to care about: this is an opportunity for you to take the lion's share.
Make Time for an Appointment With Keyword Planner
Now that you've brainstormed some worthy property management keywords, it's time to use the Google Ads Keyword Planner to pare down your keyword list.
- In the Keyword Planner (formerly referred to as the Keyword Tool), you can get search volume and traffic estimates for keywords under consideration.
- Before you delete anything, check out the trend history and projections of your keywords in Google Trends. Trending items are more worthy of your focus.
- You can see whether some low-volume terms might actually be something you should invest in now—and reap the rewards later.
The Results Are In: Do Your Keywords Have 2020 Vision?
You should now have a list of keywords that'll help define your marketing vision moving forward. While it took some time, it was probably more affordable than that pair of Ray-Bans. To make things even more painless, you can even download HubSpot's free SEO template to help you track and organize your keywords.
Keywords—like your vision—can change over time. Keep up with your relevance by evaluating the performance of your keywords at least once a quarter to maintain and grow your online presence. However, your property management keywords are only as effective as the marketing strategy they're a part of!
The beginning of the year is the perfect time to examine your property management marketing strategy as a whole! If you need some guidance, schedule a thorough check-up with RentBridge! As HubSpot Certified Platinum Partner, we're uniquely qualified to help you assess the health of your marketing strategy.